Food blogging is a tough gig. While it often starts out of a desire to share your great recipes with friends and family, it can quickly turn into an all-consuming second job. Personally, I always feel like I can't keep up my pace. As soon as I post a new recipe, it's time to promote it all over social media, and when my shares are just about done, it's time for a new post.
As a person whose natural inclination is very much treat yo'self, I've been thinking about ways to keep myself accountable. Even if you're more of a Type A, I'm willing to bet that there are days when you reconsider if you should stick with this blogging thing. For me, it's almost like with all of the urgency that comes with blogging, it's easier to throw up your hands in defeat. Not unlike those days when you're trying to eat healthy, but then you order a burger, so you might as well get fries and a milkshake too because, welp, you're already having a cheat day at this point.
With the knowledge that blogger burnout exists and effects all of us at some point, I wanted to share some ways that I keep myself motivated and accountable for the blogging goals that I set.
Get A Tribe
Nothing has kept me more accountable and motivated than my "tribe." Tribes are a valuable idea in the blogging community. A handful of bloggers will get together and agree to share and promote each other's content, while also sharing new ideas and advice.
Late in 2015 I joined a tribe of my own. We created a Facebook group where we could all convene and kvetch (when those burnout moments happened). We also created schedules and plans for tweeting out each other's content, guest posting on each other's sites, etc. Finally, we shared our goals and current statuses with each other. Much like getting a gym buddy to keep you on track toward your fitness goals, telling this group that I wanted to reach a certain amount of pageviews--and also sharing my current numbers--meant that someone besides me had expectations of what I was up to.
It resulted in my biggest traffic increase I've ever had month-to-month for my site.
Write Down Your Goal
It's so dumb! This shouldn't matter so much! But the data proves that when it comes to achieving milestones, there's a real difference between someone who just thinks about a goal, and someone who writes down a goal.
Pull out that notebook, planner, or favorite note taking app (I say "typing" goals counts too!). You may already have a "number" in mind for your goal. Maybe you want to have 100,000 MUVs. Next step? Put a date on it. The more specific and SMART your goal, the more likely you are to reach it.
If you're not sure where to start with your goals, look backwards. Goals should be ambitious, yet attainable. Map out what your growth has looked like over the past few months. Calculate the % change from month to month and then use that to inform your goals. Say, for example your growth looked like the following:
- November: 15%
- December: 21%
- January: 17%
- February: 18%
- March: 17%
A smart goal for this pattern would be to aim for 20% month-to-month for the next 90 days. Try that out and then re-asses after three months. Perhaps you can bump up your % change goals next time depending on how you do!
X Marks the Spot
Again, this one seems too simple to be true, but if anyone's read about Jerry Seinfeld's productivity secret, you know that there's something to be said when it comes to "not breaking the chain." The idea is simple: set out to achieve something specific every day. Perhaps in your case it's publish a blog post or schedule 50 pins. Then, when you complete that task, mark an X on a calendar.
Once you get going and you see days, then weeks, then months of Xs lining up, you feel all the more accountable to yourself. It's a visual, real way to remind yourself to keep up the good work. I love this method because it relies on positive reinforcement rather than any kind of repercussions or consequences for not hitting a goal.
Do you have any motivation or productivity secrets to staying on top of your blog? We'd love to hear them! Leave 'em in the comments below.